When "no" is not an option
Students at Stanford's Clinical Science, Technology and Medicine Summer Internship program work together to collaboratively produce capstone projects and support medical learning.
By Krystal Jimenez
My junior year of high school was rough as my mother was suffering from Sjogren Syndrome and Bell’s palsy. I still remember the day I browsed the internet for looking for medical internships and programs and I saw a new summer program for Anesthesiology. I was curious.
A small town girl from the suburbs
I’m a Hispanic American from a small suburb near Chicago. I was afraid there was no chance of me being accepted into the Stanford's Clinical Science, Technology and Medicine Summer Internship, a program that aims to inspire compassionate careers in science, technology and medicine.
I hesitated to tell my mother and father about this unknown opportunity due to the application fee and the costs for housing and the program. I lacked confidence to apply as I was only an ordinary student with big dreams for the future. I finally told my parents about the program and they instantly encouraged me to apply even though the program would be a costly sacrifice for our family.
The next day, my parents encouraged me to see my school counsellor and ask her opinion on the program and see if she could help me find ways to raise money in order to attend this once in a lifetime opportunity. I was initially ecstatic to visit my counsellor and I hoped for her encouragement to overcome the common stereotypes of Hispanic students being unsuccessful and unmotivated. My counsellor told me not to apply due to it “being a waste of money and time.” I felt heartbroken and humiliated. I was trying to create a better future and where I expected support, I was pushed down. I refused to let a negative stereotype define my future.
I applied later that day and waited anxiously as the days passed to see if I was accepted. That day came on March 8, 2017. The day I gained my confidence back. On that day I promised myself as a Hispanic American that I would make a change in the world. I want to heal, protect, and guide others with stories like mine. There are many of us who are broken down and told we weren’t good enough, yet deep down we know we are.
Where I am today
My current story may not be drastic nor shocking but here I am a sophomore in college who is attending the College of Dupage. Attending SASI, gave me the opportunities I would otherwise not have had such as an internship to work in a lab all this summer. I am still a girl who’s trying to find her own way into the broad world of medicine. I’m taking one step at a time figuring out how I will succeed. I am motivated and setting a pathway. I encourage others to dare to pursue their goals and dreams.
The views expressed here are the authors and they do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Stanford University School of Medicine. External websites are shared as a courtesy. They are not endorsed by the Stanford University School of Medicine.
I want to heal, protect, and guide others with stories like mine. There are many of us who are broken down and told we weren't good enough, yet deep down we know we are.
SASI alumna 2017 program graduate